How To Write A Research Paper Outline Middle School


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Students will use scaffolding to research and organize information for writing a research paper. A research paper scaffold provides students with clear support for writing expository papers that include a question (problem), literature review, analysis, methodology for original research, results, conclusion, and references. Students examine informational text, use an inquiry-based approach, and practice genre-specific strategies for expository writing. Depending on the goals of the assignment, students may work collaboratively or as individuals. A student-written paper about color psychology provides an authentic model of a scaffold and the corresponding finished paper. The research paper scaffold is designed to be completed during seven or eight sessions over the course of four to six weeks.

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O'Day, S. (2006) Setting the stage for creative writing: Plot scaffolds for beginning and intermediate writers. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • Research paper scaffolding provides a temporary linguistic tool to assist students as they organize their expository writing. Scaffolding assists students in moving to levels of language performance they might be unable to obtain without this support.

  • An instructional scaffold essentially changes the role of the teacher from that of giver of knowledge to leader in inquiry. This relationship encourages creative intelligence on the part of both teacher and student, which in turn may broaden the notion of literacy so as to include more learning styles.

  • An instructional scaffold is useful for expository writing because of its basis in problem solving, ownership, appropriateness, support, collaboration, and internalization. It allows students to start where they are comfortable, and provides a genre-based structure for organizing creative ideas.


Biancarosa, G., and Snow, C. E. (2004.) Reading next-A vision for action and research in middle and high school literacy: A report from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.

  • In order for students to take ownership of knowledge, they must learn to rework raw information, use details and facts, and write.

  • Teaching writing should involve direct, explicit comprehension instruction, effective instructional principles embedded in content, motivation and self-directed learning, and text-based collaborative learning to improve middle school and high school literacy.

  • Expository writing, because its organizational structure is rooted in classical rhetoric, needs to be taught.

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Writing an elaborate Research Paper Outline for Middle School

A research paper is usually thought of as a paper that high school and college level students must prepare. However, it is also a requirement in middle school as well. During these years a child is really able to express themselves as they gain a better understanding of who they are as a person. They are fresh into writing and have the minds that are eager to learn. Thus middle school is the perfect time to help students learn the basics of writing. This includes how to write an outline.

Step One; the Template

The first thing that should be done is to provide the student with a template that should be followed. At the top of this template the expectation of the student should be listed. The student should be able to easily understand that topic of the research paper as well as the steps of completing the outline.

Choosing a Topic: Make it Enjoyable

Teachers should help students find a topic they enjoy to create their paper from. Students can certainly use this as an opportunity to grow and learn more about something they already enjoy.

Getting to know one another

The introductory paragraph is first. This is a short paragraph of a few sentences that details what the essay paper will be about. The thesis should be described here. The length of the body should have already been determined. This is the next step in the research paper creation. Most teachers ask students to write three to four paragraphs.

The Final Chapter: The Conclusion

Following these paragraphs is the conclusion. It serves a similar purpose a the introduction, only this summarizes up what you’ve talked about in the report. It should also be short and no more than five sentences in length.

Cite the Sources of Information

Sources are the next bit of information that should be replaced in the report. Sources are what have been used to gather the information for the report. Some middle school teacher elect to help students out a bit here and provide them with a list of resources they can use since this is so often a difficult task.

Middle school children are first introduced into writing as a whole. Helping them find their love of writing can begin with helping them learn how to write an essay. Use the information above and creating that essay will be easy.


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